The following letter was sent to Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez on May, 29th.
Dear State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez,
The cooperation of our two offices is vital to protect the public and maintain high standards in the Cook County criminal justice system. Toward that end, the FOP would like to extend their thanks for the year-long investigation your office conducted into the Alstory Simon case that resulted in your calling for the vacation of Simon’s conviction on October 30, 2014. As you know, the FOP vigorously supported the review of this case, as many of our members believed Porter was guilty and Simon innocent.
As we suspected, your office discovered a large body of evidence that the exoneration of Anthony Porter and conviction of Alstory Simon was rife with corruption. While the FOP believes that the evidence of Anthony Porter’s guilt is established in the detectives’ investigation, the criminal trial of 1983, and the civil trial of 2005, it was nevertheless crucial that Alstory Simon be released and the violation of his rights that resulted in his incarceration be established in the public record.
There are many victims in the Anthony Porter saga. Among those are the Chicago Police Officers, in particular the detectives who investigated the case. These committed investigators endured many years of false allegations that they convicted the wrong man of the Washington Park murders. Later, it was claimed that they framed Porter, even, at one point, that they tortured him. The willingness of Northwestern University to vilify these detectives without any evidence was shocking to many police officers.
The evidence is clear that the corruption in the Porter exoneration was not an anomaly. Your office has uncovered other evidence of potentially criminal behavior by investigators at Northwestern University, in particular David Protess and his private investigator Paul Ciolino. In 2011, for example, your office discovered the fact that Protess had altered evidence in the Anthony McKinney case. Afterward, university officials admitted that Protess had altered this evidence and announced that he lied about his own investigations.
Attorneys for Alstory Simon have listed other examples of what they claim is a pattern of conduct regarding Protess and Ciolino in their civil lawsuit. Because Protess was working hand in hand with Northwestern’s Law School, including in the McKinney case, a criminal probe should include all wrongful conviction cases for the entire university.
The FOP therefore believes it is crucial that your office initiate this wider criminal probe into Northwestern University’s wrongful conviction cases to ascertain how deep the corruption in their wrongful conviction cases goes. The FOP is happy to assist in any way possible.
Dean C. Angelo, Sr.
FOP Chicago Lodge No. 7
Thomas J. McDonagh
Legal Defense Chairman
FOP Chicago Lodge No. 7